Rural Electric Industry Leaders Define Success

By Argo, Gene; Sloan, R. B. et al. | Management Quarterly, Winter 1998 | Go to article overview

Rural Electric Industry Leaders Define Success

Argo, Gene, Sloan, R. B., Struck, Earl, Williams, Mike, Brown, Dwight, Kiley, James M., Brewer, Dan, Management Quarterly

I think it is much easier to measure corporate success compared to personal success, recognizing that the difference between the two is that measuring corporate success is much more objective.

The results of corporate performance define the degree of success as measured against stated goals and objectives that, in our case, add value for our members. Corporate success is the achievement of those goals and objectives using traditional values and ethical business principles.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder when defining personal success. Magic formulas for defining and measuring personal success lie within ourselves. An evaluation of our personal success by others is really only an opinion, while the real measurement is how we feel about ourselves relative to what we are doing and what we have accomplished in business and life.

I have made some personal observations that I think are key elements or qualities in this thing called "personal success."

First, it's a good idea to have a destination in mind as you travel through life. Someone once said, "If you don't know where you are going, you probably won't get there." It isn't necessary to publish your goals and share with others, however, you should at least have a mental picture. You only get one shot at life, so pick a target.

Secondly, good fortune may not be considered critical, however, I would hate to be without it. A little luck can go a long way on the road to success. There is nothing like being at the right place, at the right time.

A third observation, as we hustle down the road of life, is that we probably won't do it alone. Somewhere along the way to success it helps to have friends and sponsors. They surface in the form of fellow-employees, teachers, coaches, and family. There are three characteristics that are necessary when establishing "success" relationships: Pride, Guts and Loyalty.

You should be proud of your relationships and associations. These kinds of relationships provide a strong foundation for social and professional growth.

It may never be necessary to demonstrate courage to support and maintain relationships, however, it is a comfort knowing it's there if needed.

Loyalty is a two way street and a valuable characteristic especially during times of change and uncertainty. Do not expect support if you are not willing to be honest, and willing to champion those who support you.

The last element I have observed is the importance of risk-taking. Somewhere along the way we will be called upon to take on risks involving decision making - both large and small. Generally, the size of the risk determines the size of the reward. Remember, you can't win the buckle if you don't enter the rodeo.

Defining success is not particularly difficult, however, it is very diverse. From the more objective measurements of corporate performance to the subjective definitions of personal success, there are common traits and qualities that contribute to both.

Several thoughts come to mind when I hear the word "success".

First, the word causes me discomfort. When someone describes me as "successful," I find myself wanting to run for cover. I choose to define success in my terms and frankly, that definition is still evolving. I tend to view success as an interim or transitory state in the process of some overall accomplishment or victory.

I find myself asking several questions about what success is or is not. Does success imply a level of satisfactory performance has been accomplished? Is success permanent? Does a cooperative ever reach a state of being "successful"? Is the attaining of success good or bad? Does a feeling of success invite complacency?

While I cannot define it, I know it when I see it. Personal success is recognizable by having a beginning and an end as in a specific project or, in a larger sense, a career. Or, success can be by association as in being part of a "successful" organization. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)


1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited article

Rural Electric Industry Leaders Define Success


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.